Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Tesla Model S crashes into truck in Utah

Tesla Model S crashes into truck in Utah

On Friday a Tesla Model S crashed into the back of a firetruck in South Jordan, Utah.

"Witnesses indicated the Tesla Model S did not brake prior to impact", the statement said.

A Tesla sedan with a semi-autonomous Autopilot feature has rear-ended a fire department truck at 60 miles per hour (97 kph) apparently without braking before impact, but police say it's unknown if the Autopilot feature was engaged. If activated, the vehicle will be able to change lanes, steer, brake, and park on its own.

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk has defended his company's driverless Autopilot feature after a woman broke her ankle in a crash while the system was active.

"What's actually awesome about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60mph and the driver only broke an ankle".

Responding to a user who indicated that Tesla's autopilot function still needs safety tweaking, Musk stated: "It certainly needs to be better & we work to improve it every day, but ideal is enemy of good". The driver of the fire truck suffered whiplash and was not taken to a hospital.

Over the past two months, federal officials have opened investigations into at least two other crashes involving Tesla vehicles.

Complicating Tesla's problems, however, have been reports of a series of recent crashes that have resulted in several deaths and injuries. Two teens were later killed, a third injured, in a Florida crash in which their Model S sedan's battery pack caught fire after a crash. The agency has said it does not expect the semi-autonomous system to be a focus of that investigation.

A 48-year-German driver died on Thursday when his auto hit a barrier on a motorway in the canton of Ticino, southern Switzerland.

The NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are also looking into the performance of the company's Autopilot system in the March crash of a Tesla Model X on a California highway.

In April, Musk was asked by "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King, "what's the objective of having autopilot if you still have to put your hands on the wheel?"

A Tesla spokesman said: "We are deeply saddened by this accident, and we are working to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation to local authorities".

"The system worked as described, which is that it's a hands-on system".

"As a reminder for drivers of semi-autonomous vehicles, it is the driver's responsibility to stay alert, drive safely, and be in control of the vehicle at all times", Winkler added. It is unclear if it will now investigate the Utah incident, as well.

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